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GOOBERHEADS, BLIMPS, AND EARMARKS
Time for another Gooberhead Award – presented periodically to those in the news who've got their tongues going 100 miles per hour, but forgot to put their brains in gear.
Today's Goober is Pete Sessions, a little-known, run-of-the-mill, Republican congress critter from Dallas. Like many of his GOP colleagues, Pete has been on his ethical high-horse this year, pointing a finger of shame at the new Democratic majority for continuing to let special-interest earmarks slip into appropriations bills. On his website, Sessions piously posits that these backroom giveaways of tax dollars are "a symbol of a broken Washington."
Yes, they are! And Pete should know, because he's an earmarker himself. Last year, he quietly moved $1.6 million out of our public treasury into the hands of Jim Ferguson & Associates for the stated purpose of doing research on – get this – dirigibles.
The Ferguson firm is a father-son duo, Jim III and Jim IV. Are they renowned blimp builders? No. They concede they have no background whatsoever in dirigibles, aviation, engineering, or government contracting. Instead, they say that they are "business people." Well, is congressman Pete so involved because this is a Dallas project? No, the Fergusons are based in Chicago. Oh, Sessions did use a Dallas address for his earmark, but that turned out to he the home address of a friend of the Fergusons.
The connection to Sessions is that Jim IV is a friend, and now a client of a Washington lobbyist and former Congressional aid to Rep. Sessions. The lobbyist has collected $446,000 in fees from the Fergusons to push their dirigible dreams, including urging the congressman to back the dream.
The real symbol of a broken Washington is the cynical hypocrisy of Gooberheads like Pete Sessions.
"Exclusive: Earmark critic steered cash to blimp, former aide," www.yahoo.com , July 30, 2009.